Yoga Stretches for Sciatica, Pinched Nerve Pain Relief

Author: Randeep Singh / go to all articles on Yoga cure

Yoga for Sciatica:

Sciatica is the name given a long nerve which emerge from the lower spine, lumber spine, and run down both the hip, then the thighs, running down in to the lower part of the leg into the toes. There are in fact two sciatica nerves which run along the length of both the legs.

Yoga for Sciatica help keep the point of emergence (from the lumbar spine) of these two nerves free from any compression.

The thickness of the sciatica nerve is equal to the girth of one’s little finger.  Pain happens to run down this nerve if it gets pinched at the point of its emergence from the vertebral column due to the pressing of the herniated edge associated disc on to it. That is why this condition is also known as Pinched Nerve Pain. The pain so generated can be felt either locally at different points along the length of the sciatica nerve or it can be experienced along the entire length of the leg.  

The intensity of the pain associated with the pinching of the sciatica nerve may range from a feeling of dull tingling in the leg to the unbearably painful throbbing radiating down the length of the leg.

Herniated disc condition is one of the most common causes of sciatica pain.  A part of the disc, liquid filled cushioning agent which sits between the contact surfaces of two adjacent vertebrae, may get squeezed out of its normal boundaries due to  impact of an injury or the ageing process.  Sedentary lifestyle, or excessive activity which involves constant bending are other reasons which may lead to a herniated disc condition. 

 Another of the less common causes of sciatica pain is the pinching of the piriformis’s muscles, present in the hip region, on to the section of the sciatica nerve passing through their territory.  Piriformis muscles, present around the sciatica nerve, in case shorter in length than normal go tight on the sciatica as a short, tight rubber band is pressing around a cable. This condition is also known as piriformis syndrome.

Yoga for Pinched Nerve Pain 

It is possible to get rid of this nagging pain of the sciatica nerve with proper yoga stretches done the right way with the right alignments.  The sciatica pain relief yoga is more effective form of sciatica exercises because it uses various props which ease the process of getting into the required yoga postures for the patient.  

Firstly the yoga prop- Belts, blocks, blankets etc.-  provide the necessary traction to the afflicted part relieving the undue pressing on the  nerve section which is causing the irritation or the discomforting pain; secondly with  props the body  experience the correct alignment  of the affected body part without  calling for any extra flexibility or effort on the part of the practitioner. 

Cure Sciatica pain with Yoga

Once the proper pain free alignment is known one needs to strengthen the muscles around the area to maintain this rectified alignment. The strengthening of the related muscles is done by the regular practice of yoga poses to soothe sciatica pain.

The main focus of the yoga for sciatica pain is the proper alignment of the juncture where the pelvis and the spine meet.  The flexibility and the strength of the muscles and joints in this area has a direct relation to the sciatica pain.  Sciatica treatment with yoga, in order to be effective needs to be taken up in complete isolation to any other form of physical activity.  

This is crucial to eliminating any possibility of the wrong alignments being used in other forms of exercises which may be contributing to the sciatica pain condition.  One must avoid over squaring of the hips and the feet while doing yoga practice for sciatica because overdoing these movements can actually put negative strain on the lumbar spine causing it to pinch upon the sciatica nerve.

The sequence for the yoga poses to soothe sciatica pain has to be designed differently for different people depending on the individual causes for individual conditions.  Some of the yoga stretches  for relieving sciatica nerve pain are meant to put the spine in extension, or  bend it backwards,  this extension of the spine if regulated exactly in the opposite to the direction the disc has herniated can actually  help secure the affected disc back within boundaries of the related vertebrae.  

Occasionally arthritis is the cause for the nerves to stick closely to the bones of the vertebral column which makes them extra sensitive to any abnormal extension of the bone structures or the bone spurs.   The nerves can release certain adhesive releasing chemicals on their own only if some freedom of movement is possible between them and the adjoining bone.

Yoga stretches  for  sciatica  pain relief work in another way which involves shaking the nerves out of their adhesion to the adjoining bones. This is achieved by first axially stretching the whole spine by bending, flexing the neck, the pelvis and the legs are kept neutral.  

Next, the extended spin is relegated to the move downwards by lifting the neck back on to the neutral position and flexing the hip . This movement of the spine along its length will cause the nerves to get detached from their respective points of adhesion, now they are enabled to release the adhesive dissolving chemicals  which frees them off any stress emanating from the bony structures near to them.

In case the cause of the sciatica pain is piriformis syndrome, then rotating the hips, legs   can help stretch or elongate the short piriformis muscles releasing the tight grip which was pinching on the sciatica nerve.  Keep in mind that the stretching of the piriformis muscles must not be done while  the sciatica pain is present as this will exaggerate the grip of the muscles on to the nerves, in this situation try to rotate the legs outward to detach the muscles from the nerve in order to instantly relieve the pain.

Yoga  for Sciatica pain Relief

Urdhvamukhasvan Asanas


Ardhmatsyendra Asana




Intense Three limb Stretch


Utthita Trikonasana

Warrior Pose 1

Warrior Pose 2

More interesting articles….

Yoga for Legs

Yoga for Shoulders

Yoga for Spine

Yoga to Sympathetic Nervous System